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Charles Baudelaire Quotes


Charles Baudelaire Charles Baudelaire was the celebrated 19th century poet who had a penchant for provoking French society with his erotic writing style that sent shivers down the spine of the authorities. Whilst fellow writers of the era praised his work the ministry of the interior banned six of his poems from Les Fleurs Du Mal after they condemned as obscene references to lesbian love and vampirism. He enjoyed the notoriety that his work had given him and he built on that by becoming an art critic that helped to supplement his income. He had a fascination with the writings of Edgar Allan Poe whose work he translated during the mid 1850's and is largely responsible for the popularity Poe gained in Europe. His life mirrored his writing as he indulged in the fruits of the seedier side of Paris where he experimented with drugs and sex which in turn fed his literary imagination and contributed to his early demise at the young age of 46. His reputation as a poet of great standing is still intact to this day as he continues to influence generations of budding writers. He was good for a one liner also so here is my compilation of 15 of the best Charles Baudelaire quotes
  • Mini Bio
  • Name: Charles Pierre Baudelaire
  • Born: 9th April 1821, Paris, France
  • Death: 31st August 1867, Paris, France
  • Occupation: Poet, author and critic
  • Alma Mater: Lycée Louis-le-Grand
  • Notable works: A book of poetry he published in 1857 entitled Les Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil)
  • Inspired by: Edgar Allan Poe, Édouard Manet, Eugène Delacroix, Félix Tournachon (Nadar), Joseph de Maistre, Richard Wagner, Théophile Gautier and Victor Hugo
  • Influenced: Arthur Rimbaud, Edmund Wilson, François Porche, Gustave Flaubert, Marcel Proust, Paul Verlaine, Seamus Heaney, Stéphane Mallarmé, T. S. Eliot and Walter Benjamin
  • Trivia: He was prosecuted and fined 300 Francs for his most famous work Les Fleurs du mal after the authorities deemed the work as an insult to public decency. Six poems were banned and removed from the published book in France and the ban was not lifted until 1949
  • Quotes about Charles Baudelaire: The French novelist Gustave Flaubert said of him; "You have found a way to rejuvenate Romanticism.... You are as unyielding as marble, and as penetrating as an English mist"
  • The author T.S. Eliot said of his influence; "I am an English poet of American origin who learnt his art under the aegis of Baudelaire and the Baudelairian lineage of poets"

"You have to be continually drunk. But on what? Wine, poetry or virtue, as you wish. But be drunk"

Charles Baudelaire

"Strangeness is a necessary ingredient in beauty"

Charles Baudelaire

"Dance can reveal everything mysterious that is hidden in music"

Charles Baudelaire

"God is the only being who, in order to reign, doesn't even need to exist"

Charles Baudelaire

"I have cultivated my hysteria with pleasure and terror"

Charles Baudelaire

"Remembering is only a new form of suffering"

Charles Baudelaire

"The will to work must dominate, for art is long and time is brief"

Charles Baudelaire

"Genius is childhood recalled at will"

Charles Baudelaire

"Imagination is the queen of truth, and possibility is one of the regions of truth. She is positively akin to infinity"

Charles Baudelaire

"Alas, the vices of man, as horrifying as they are presumed to be, contain proof of his bent for the infinite"

Charles Baudelaire

"We have psychologised like the insane, who aggravate their madness in struggling to understand it"

Charles Baudelaire

"It is imagination that has taught man the moral sense of color, of contour, of sound and of scent"

Charles Baudelaire

"Everything, alas, is an abyss; Actions, desires, dreams, words"

Charles Baudelaire

"Dancing is poetry with arms and legs"

Charles Baudelaire

"A work of art should be like a well-planned crime"

Charles Baudelaire





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